I’ve been touched by a gospel story this week. In some ways, it captures what I’ve been trying to learn to convey to you. Grace is sufficient and the only way to heaven. So it’s finally time to stop trying to earn it (or run from it).
He [Jesus] also told this parable to some who trusted in themselves that they were righteous and regarded others with contempt: 10 “Two men went up to the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector. 11 The Pharisee, standing by himself, was praying thus, ‘God, I thank you that I am not like other people: thieves, rogues, adulterers, or even like this tax collector. 12 I fast twice a week; I give a tenth of all my income.’ 13 But the tax collector, standing far off, would not even look up to heaven, but was beating his breast and saying, ‘God, be merciful to me, a sinner!’ 14 I tell you, this man went down to his home justified rather than the other; for all who exalt themselves will be humbled, but all who humble themselves will be exalted.” (Luke 18:9-14, NRSV)
Grace is sufficient
Self-righteousness does more harm than good. God does not want to hear how good we are. He only wants to see our empty hearts ready to receive his righteousness. Grace is sufficient. It’s time to believe it. And live it.
As long as we seek to be good on our own power, we practice religion. Jesus came so we could be freed from self-righteous attempts to better ourselves. He came to save us by grace through faith because we couldn’t – and still can’t – make ourselves right with God on our own. But it does happen by God’s grace and with the power of the Holy Spirit.
We need Jesus; we need grace. Hence we need to humble ourselves and ask like the tax collector, ‘God, be merciful to me, a sinner!’ And guess what? God is merciful. Always. He is ready anytime to pour out grace upon grace. And this grace makes us right with God. Thoroughly.
Thank you for Jesus and the gift of grace that keeps giving and giving. Hallelujah!
We surrender to you and ask humbly, ‘God, be merciful to us, sinners!’
Pour out grace upon grace as you’ve promised to all who believe in Jesus.
Empower us for living boldly for you.
In Jesus’ name,
Q4U: Isn’t it time to stop trying to perform on our strength and start to live in grace?
Be blessed, my fellow pilgrim, as you embrace God’s grace for the source of life and strength!
The Pharisee and the Publican, baroque fresco in Ottobeuren Basilica, photo courtesy of Johannes Böckh & Thomas Mirtsch via Wikipedia.